How to Store Fresh Fish

Fish that has not been stored properly can be dangerous to eat. Even if it does not make your customers ill, it will still be of a lower quality than a better-kept product. Therefore, you must use the correct packaging and procedures for your fish.


As with meat products, it is essential that raw and cooked fish are stored separately. If you cannot place them in different storage units, then they must be properly sealed and placed in separate parts of the refrigerator. One way to prevent cross-contamination is to use the proper packaging, with the minimum risk of tearing or leakage. This does not just prevent the mixing of cooked and raw fish: it also prevents fish with stronger smells or flavours contaminating more delicate products.

Storing Fresh Fish

Most fresh fish will no longer be edible after four days. This means storing it correctly is vital. Fish kept in temperatures of over 4 °C will soon be unfit for consumption. The legal requirement is that it is kept as close to 0°C as possible. This means you need to keep it in a temperature-controlled unit. A professional unit is better than a domestic fridge.

These units work by continually releasing a flow of cold air. They do not work as effectively when the flow is obstructed. To prevent this, do not pack too many fish too close together in the unit. Once removed from the unit, the fish should be used immediately and not returned to storage.

To find an appropriate catering fridge, find a specialist retailer such as This will allow for the most efficient preservation of your fish.

Freezing Fish

For longer storage and better preservation, fish can be frozen. Advice on this process can be found from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Using a blast freezer will speed the freezing process. This prevents flavour or too many nutrients from being lost. The recommended temperature for freezing fish is -30°C. The minimum is -18°C.

If freezing large amounts of fish, it is sensible to place in layers and freeze one layer before putting another on top. Do not overload your freezer – otherwise fish will take longer to freeze. The length of time you can store fish depends upon the type of fish. If fish is defrosted, do not refreeze.